- Associated Press - Sunday, January 31, 2016

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The leader of the Ohio House can limit debate on legislation, rule representatives out of order and, apparently, cut off opening prayers.

Republican House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger of Clarksville took the unusual step this past week of interjecting with an “amen” as a pastor’s prayer reached the five-minute mark. Such opening blessings typically run much shorter ahead of the House voting sessions.

Rosenberger, a Clarksville Republican, told reporters Wednesday he didn’t meant to be rude and felt terrible. But he said he gave it “its due diligence.”

Rosenberger said he had to weigh whether the remarks were a sermon or prayer and thought the comments were “straying a little bit.”

So, he said, when he thought the comments were enough, he chimed in with an “amen” and thanked the pastor.

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